The research, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and published Aug. 6, shows that the CPG industry supports roughly 20.4 million jobs in the US – making it the largest manufacturing employer in the country, according to GMA.
This number, based on data from 2017, includes 2.3 million jobs directly tied to the food, beverage, household and personal products industries, according to the report. To put this in context, it explains that the CPG industry was directly responsible for 17.8% of US manufacturing employment, 13.8% of US manufacturing labor income and 16.9% of US manufacturing GDP.
In addition, the report notes, CPG industry jobs offer an average income of $64,000 – which is thousands of dollars above the national average across industries.
But beyond those directly employed by the industry, the CPG segment helps generate more than 18 million “additional jobs in the wider economy,” according to the report.
“The jobs created by CPG activity are diverse and wide-ranging,” according to the report, which explained, “It takes more than 2 million agriculture jobs to produce everything from tomatoes for ketchup to aloe for skincare. Another 1.2 million Americans help more raw materials and finished products in transportation and warehousing jobs.”
In addition, it estimates that “getting CPG products into the hands of consumers supports the work of more than 6 million Americans that work in wholesale and retail trade.”
Research provides GMA leverage for promotion
The report also could provide GMA some leverage with legislators and candidates in upcoming elections by illustrating that the “positive effects of the CPG industry are felt coast to coast” by employing constituents in every state and the District of Columbia.
It broke down the industry’s impact by state and congressional district – noting that it is responsible for at least 500 jobs in every congressional district and that in 174 districts it directly provides more than 5,000 jobs.
While California accounts for the most CPG-supported jobs at 2.6 million, worth $281.8 billion in GDP contributions, and the most direct CPG jobs at 27,000 worth $42.2 billion in direct contributions to GDP, Nebraska wins for the highest share.
According to the report, 19.6% of jobs in Nebraska are supported by the CPG industry, accounting for 20.6% of the states GDP. Other states with high concentrations of constituents employed by the CPG industry include Iowa, Wisconsin, Arkansas and South Dakota.
As the map suggests, much of the direct employment by the industry is “especially pronounced in a few rural areas where farming and other CPG activity is highly productive,” according to the report, which adds, “Western Arkansas and Northeast Georgia are major centers of poultry production” and “rural districts of Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota are where much of the country’s wheat, corn and soybeans are produced.”
The report was published less than a week after GMA announced a complete line-up of new leaders, with which the once-beleaguered trade group promised to recommit itself to “aggressive and effective” industry promotion.
As tensions build for upcoming election, this report could provide a map for where some of that promotional activity may be concentrated.